So you’ve decided you want to try out the high-fat, low-carb diet, better-known as the fat-burning ketogenic diet. Whether it’s to lose weight, have more energy, or fuel workouts differently, going keto is a popular choice right now. But figuring out a keto meal plan on your own is no easy feat, especially since eating a diet super high in fats doesn’t come naturally to many people who are accustomed to the traditionally carb-heavy American diet. (It’s especially hard if you’re vegan and want to try keto.) But this should help: Keto experts explain how to set yourself up for success, plus provide ideas for exactly what keto foods to eat when you’re first getting started. (While you’re at it, check out these Low-Carb Keto drinks That Will Keep You in Ketosis.)
There’s a small percent of people that experience raised LDL cholesterol as well. These elevated levels are usually fine – though harder to test. The dangers of LDL cholesterol come from the size and density, which are shown to be very healthy on keto. Read more on keto and cholesterol >
Using a meal plan when you start the keto diet can greatly help you succeed. If you know what’s coming up next, you’re much less likely to give up and order food from your favorite takeout restaurant.
This guide was designed to help you kick-start your keto diet and get you into ketosis! Below are the basics of the ketogenic diet, how to get started and how to guarantee success. Best of all, you get a free 14-Day Keto Meal Plan with full step-by-step recipes to help you kickstart your keto diet!
The cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) involves alternating days of strict keto and high-carb consumption. For example, a week on CKD would involve eating 20-50 grams of carbs for five consecutive days, then eating a high-carb diet (over 100 grams per day) for two days.
Anyway, I had like a full plate of food. I had fasted for 18 hours that day, so I didn’t think it was a huge deal because half of my plate was veg. But my friend sat down and asked me “are you sure you’re on a diet?” I just..felt so angry. Like yes, she’s 50 lbs lighter than me (similar height), but she eats noodles and rice daily and she does feel that afternoon slump. She also has anemia (I think it’s common for people to skip meat here if they’re trying to lose weight, but they also don’t eat much fatty dairy at all – no butter, no cheese, etc). Their fat comes from vegetable oils, their carbs from noodles and rice, and their protein from maybe a tiny bit of meat, maybe some milk, and tofu probably.
I tried to scale the recipes as best as I could in this meal plan, but not every recipe will be scaled, and some recipes will give leftovers. Make sure you look a few days ahead in the meal plan, as some leftovers are used. Freeze things if you have too much leftovers. You can always re-use this food later on!
Search for deals. There’s always a sale or a coupon to be found for keto-friendly items out there. Typically you can find significant savings in magazines and newspapers that are sent to your house, but they can also be combined with in-store specials and manager cuts. When combined, you can save a significant amount of your keto groceries.
Blanket statement: It’s always best to check with your doctor before starting on this regimen. With that said, “the keto diet isn’t recommended for those with liver or kidney disease, or someone with a medical condition, such as a gastrointestinal issue, who can’t metabolize high amounts of dietary fat,” says Sarah Jadin, a Los-Angeles based registered dietitian and founder of Keto Consulting, LLC. If you’ve had your gallbladder removed, the keto diet may be a no-go. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and people with certain rare genetic disorders shouldn’t try this diet.
By 2007, the ketogenic diet was available from around 75 centres in 45 countries, and less restrictive variants, such as the modified Atkins diet, were in use, particularly among older children and adults. The ketogenic diet was also under investigation for the treatment of a wide variety of disorders other than epilepsy.
More Energy. Studies have shown that the rapid rate of oxidation in MCFAs (Medium Chain Fatty Acids) leads to an increase in energy expenditure. Primarily, MCFAs are converted into ketones (our best friends), are absorbed differently in the body compared to regular oils, and give us more overall energy.
Net carbs are used because dietary fiber does not have a significant metabolic effect. We are trying to get as accurate of a picture as possible when tracking macros, therefor net carbs is what makes the most sense.
You can test yourself to see whether you’ve entered ketosis just a few days after you’ve begun the keto diet! Simply use a ketone test strip and it will tell you the level of ketone bodies in your urine. If the concentration is high enough, you’ve successfully entered ketosis! Note: Any change to the strip color indicates that you are in ketosis.
Lots and lots of food with dessert to cover the bases! Dinner is a fantastic time for me. I suggest breaking your fast with a small snack, then after 30-45 minutes eat to your hearts content. Normally I need 2 meals to get to my macros, and I think you’ll need to do the same.
Calorie counting is not required on keto, nor should it be necessary. When you eat a diet high in fat, it is more satiating than a diet high in carbs (e.g., sugar). Generally, this cuts down on your chances of overeating. Instead of counting calories, pay attention to your macro levels. For further reading, learn more about micronutrients on a keto diet.
Thanks Dr. Jockey…very informative article. Im into pure keto diet almost a week now but started illiminating sugar and carbs 3weeks ago and the side effects that i’ve encountered are frequently urinating and light headache only. Is it good or not? I’ve never consult a specialist before doing keto diet but i do my research, is it okay? As of now i’ve loose almost 11lbs. Im just curious how can i get the percentage of fats, protein etc in my meals? Do i need to measure it all? How can i measure the percentage of foods that i need to eat?is there any ways?
Here are a few of the most common side effects that I come across when people first start keto. Frequently the issues relate to dehydration or lack of micronutrients (vitamins) in the body. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water (close to a gallon a day) and eating foods with good sources of micronutrients. To read more on micronutrients, click here >
Increased Urination. Keto is a natural diuretic, so you have to go to the bathroom more. Acetoacetate, a ketone body, is also excreted in urination and can lead to increased bathroom visits for beginners.
I cheat on vacation – If you learn the heuristic, “when I’m away from home, I eat whatever I want,” it’s fine. Just make sure you don’t bring back any tempting sweets with you and go back to your nice, keto-friendly kitchen.
Gary D. Foster, Ph.D., Holly R. Wyatt, M.D., James O. Hill, Ph.D., Brian G. McGuckin, Ed.M., Carrie Brill, B.S., B. Selma Mohammed, M.D., Ph.D., Philippe O. Szapary, M.D., Daniel J. Rader, M.D., Joel S. Edman, D.Sc., and Samuel Klein, M.D., “A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Obesity — NEJM,” N Engl J Med 2003; 348:2082- 2090. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa022207.
Macronutrients (macros) are molecules that our bodies use to create energy for themselves – primarily fat, protein and carbs. They are found in all food and are measured in grams (g) on nutrition labels.
Jump up ^ Wang S, Fallah A. Optimal management of seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex: current and emerging options. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2014 Oct 23;10:2021-30. doi:10.2147/NDT.S51789. PMID 25364257
Grant D Brinkworth, Manny Noakes, Jonathan D Buckley, Jennifer B Keogh, and Peter M Clifton, “Long-term Effects of a Very-low-carbohydrate Weight Loss Diet Compared with an Isocaloric Low-fat Diet after 12 Mo,” Am J Clin Nutr July 2009 vol. 90 no. 1 23-32. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/90/1/23.long.
Drinking alcohol slows ketone production. There are some legitimate concerns when it comes to consuming alcohol on a ketogenic diet. Alcohol slows fat burning and ketone production. Drinks to avoid include:
A: Many things can cause a slow down in weight loss: stress, lack of sleep, exercise, hormonal changes, and alcohol use among other things are factors. Weight loss will not always be a linear process, either. We have fluctuations in water that happens every day.
Something that makes the keto diet different from other low-carb diets is that it does not “protein-load.” Protein is not as big a part of the diet as fat is. Reason being: In small amounts, the body can change protein to glucose, which means if you eat too much of it, especially while in the beginning stages of the keto diet, it will slow down your body’s transition into ketosis.
While these three causes are seemingly different, they are actually all related. When becoming keto-adapted initially, your body has been running on sugar for years. When you suddenly switch to fats, your body has to essentially build the cellular machinery necessary to generate and utilize ketone bodies as a fuel source.
Achieving optimal ketosis hinges on finding the right balance of macronutrients (or “macros” in keto-speak); these are the elements in your diet that account for the majority of your calories, a.k.a. energy—namely, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. By the way, it’s often “net grams” of carbohydrates that are counted toward your daily intake; “net” deducts the amount of fiber in a food from its carbohydrate total.